Are you looking for wedding planning advice during COVID-19? I do not blame you. This is a crazy time to be engaged, and trying to plan.
Take a deep breath, and let’s talk about it. We are here for you!
The unfortunate reality for many couples, and for all wedding vendors is that the Coronavirus has impacted the wedding industry, and hard.
As a venue owner, restaurateur, and wedding planner, I have felt the impact of this virus right along with many of the creatives and small business owners that we work with frequently to bring beautiful milestone events to life. To help create a unified voice for our beloved events industry, Ali Philips, Collin Pierson and I created The Illinois Events Coalition. You can go directly to the site to learn more, or see my blog about it here. To  listen to an awesome podcast from my dear friend Akeshi Akinseye’s  “Let’s Talk About It” podcast click here . I think it is important to  protect and help our clients as it is our businesses and industry.
To help my clients, and couples everywhere, I am sharing three wedding planning pieces of advice for during COVID-19. This advice is simple, but a great place to start when you feel overwhelmed.
These are really unprecedented times. I tell my clients every day that no matter your situation, it’s important to remember your end goal. For me, that is seeing my client’s weddings happen as they imagined. I want to see them celebrate with loved ones, happy, safe and secure to do so. Every wedding and event vendor that I know and work with shares this feeling and feels it as strongly as I do. Remember that we are all here for you, and we all want to see events happen again – when it is safe for that to happen.
wedding planning advice during COVID-19

Photo: Kent Drake Photography//Floral: Revel Decor

Advice/planning tip 1: Feel what you feel

As I mention frequently to my clients, process your emotions first. And remember to breathe. Also remember that we will get through this. But, we need to stick together and be mindful of all that we are feeling. Let’s speak with respect, kindness and empathy to all involved.. It is absolutely devastating for a couple to have to move their wedding, or even consider canceling. It is no *less devastating for the vendors that are working with those couples. We are doing our utmost to accommodate our clients while we make every attempt to preserve our businesses and livlihoods too. Many of us have been in a financial free fall because we could not apply for any kind of financial aid or assistance. This does not mean that a vendor shouldn’t be mindful of what clients are going through, but I do think it is really important to remind everybody what is happening to vendors as well. Our reality is that we may not be working in 2020. And while we do everything we can to move client wedding dates, we are also then faced with the reality that we do not have new bookings in 2021. The loss of revenue is starting, and impossible to make back. That is a LOT for people to handle, so my advice is to be kind and stay respectful on all sides. We are all going through something.

wedding planning advice during COVID-19

Photo: Collin Pierson Photography//Floral: Life In Bloom

Advice/Planning Tip 2: Be Open to discussions

Be willing to consider having an open discussion with your family and closest friends about the effects of Coronavirus on your plans, and theirs.  Some of them may need to  travel to reach your wedding, and how they feel about that matters.  Even if your state allows gathering, think about how many guests can travel or wouldn’t be comfortable traveling. That is a fair question, and asking it has assisted several of our couples in  calmly choosing to move their dates out to 2021. You may want as many guests as possible to be able to celebrate with you safely, so consider alternatives in order to have that.

Discussions in general about moving your wedding date are difficult, emotional and challenging and I understand that 100%. Even so, it is important to have the discussions and sort through feelings, questions and potential paths forward from where you are currently.

wedding planning advice during COVID-19

Photo: Joanna Toto for The Day Collective/Floral: Belle Fleur NY

Advice/Planning tip 3:You deserve to celebrate! Remember that…

Your wedding will happen. You deserve it to happen. Every couple who is going through this deserves that! How does that happen? Well, it is probably going to take a little bit longer than expected. What can you do now that you are thinking of a date change? If you work with a planner, make sure that they are reaching all of your vendors before committing to a confirmed change of date so that you can try to retain your entire team as you postpone.

Typically, a  wedding planner is a great resource during wedding planning, now more than ever during this COVID-19 pandemic.Our c=job is to communicate with your creative team and keep them and you informed and this is a most important time to have all of those parties informed.

Remember, you chose the vendors that make up your wedding dream team for a reason. They all want to be at your wedding, that was their plan all along. This pandemic is causing some scheduling challenges, but don’t be daunted. Some of them may not be available, and that is ok too. The goal is to aim for the least amount of (further) disruptive changes and financial impact as possible. Most of the conversations need to start with the venue as they are the largest piece to your wedding. From there, I suggest that you prioritize the vendors you have contracted. Is the band something you cannot go without? Is your photographer one that you really want to work with on your wedding day? While we believe that all vendors are valuable, each couple has priorities, and if you know where you stand on each category, that can help you make decisions if you face some of your vendors being unavailable on the new date. Something to note: if one of your vendors is unavailable, talk to them about it – they will have a suggestion on who might be able to replace them and that is always a very valid referral.

wedding planning advice during COVID-19

Photo: Averyhouse

Large, beautiful layered weddings can happen. It is going to take a little longer.  And in the meantime, if you would like an intimate gathering with a meaningful ceremony you can have that too. There are more options for couples right now, more-so then before I feel. I choose to see that as a bit of a silver lining.  I hope that you enjoyed my three pieces of wedding planning advice during COVID-19, please feel free to shoot me a message or email if you have any questions or need help! We are here for you, and in this with you. xo

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